Another important reason to stretch is to reduce muscle soreness. Stretches should be done before and after working out to help prevent soreness. Stretching your legs is absolutely crucial, especially when doing cardio exercises.
The stretch in the picture is one of the best leg stretches you can do before a workout. This stretch will loosen up your thighs, quads, arms, shoulders, and hips.
- Stand with your legs wide apart.
- Reach your arms down toward one side and hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
- Switch to stretch the other side.
Another great stretch to try before working out is the walking alternating leg cradle.
- Begin with your legs apart
- Bend one of your legs bringing your foot towards your hip
- Grab your foot with the opposite side hand.
- Use the same side hand to pull your leg towards your chest.
- When releasing your foot, step forward and then repeat on the opposite side.
- Repeat this walking stretch 5 times on each side.
Calves are composed of two separate muscles that join together at the Achilles tendon, which allow us to flex and flatten our feet when we run, jog, and walk. There are several ways to stretch out these muscles. Here’s our favorite calf stretch:
- Sit with your legs spread out in a V position.
- Bend your right leg, bringing your right foot to your left knee.
- Flex your left food and reach for it with your hands.
- Hold the position for 15-20 seconds.
- Release from the position and repeat with the other side.